MY 10 FAVORITE: Experimental Songs by Manifest Destiny’s Child

“My 10 Favorite” is a feature that gives artists and musicians a chance to share some of the music (or art) that has inspired them on their creative journey. Each feature will also include a Spotify playlist, so be sure to follow us.

Manifest Destiny’s Child lies at the intersection where multiple genres of music collide. Formed in Denton, Texas by Carol Gonzalez (guitars, vocals), Sabrina Tionloc (bass,vocals), and Kaylin Martinez (drums), the trio’s sound is noisey, experimental, and wholly atypical. Indeed, there are other “experimental” bands in the scene, but none of them sound this unpredictable and confident. Pulling on the strings of funk and then suddenly steering back towards rock without warning, the band is more calculated than a free-form jam fest. There’s no distance between the genres they mine, rather they know how to make connections that are seemingly disparate.

Last month, the band independently released a double-single, Rojo, featuring the tracks “Franco’s Ocean” and “Staircase.” Following the path they forged on last year’s full-length Rio Discotheque, the new songs continue their dogged pursuit to follow their muse. Guitars play off of thick, nimble bass lines that wind alongside progressive drumming. Never sacrificing what sounds good for the sake of experimentation, the band is keenly aware of what makes a great song. These are not challenging songs, but songs that surprise you as you travel through one unexpected change after another.

We asked the band to compile a short-list of their favorite experimental tracks, the songs that inspired them when they formed the band and continue to inspire them today. They’ve come up with a list that spans four decades of music that, like themselves, is diverse, yet shares a common, boundless spirit.

Radiohead – “Kinetic” 

This song is the perfect mix of experimental and melodious. It’s hectic and beautiful and scary all at the same time, which is something I love and want to emulate in our music. Radiohead has a bunch of wacky sounds, so it’s hard to pick, but the mixture of feelings this song evokes within me clearly outweighs the rest. – Carol

King Crimson – “Elephant Talk” 

This was one of the first experimental songs I ever heard in high school and it has stayed with me forever. That bassline hits me so hard, along with the wavy vocals to make a happy, noisey 80’s experimental song. Robert Fripp is a genius. – Carol

Sonic Youth – “The World Looks Red”

This song is super noisey, with some real trashy punk elements. It’s dissonant, yet I love to sing and dance along to it. Love music that can make me want to mosh and dance at the same time. – Carol

Primus – “Too Many Puppies”

When I listen to this song it ignites this need to play my drums. It’s so driving and cool. It inspires me to play something different from what I usually do. – Kaylin

Car Bomb – “Crud” 

This song is intense! I don’t know if I could ever play as fast as Elliot Hoffman, but his technicality is something I strive for. With all the songs we write, I try to think about the different rhythms in this song and how I can play something inspired by them. – Kaylin

Can – “Vitamin C”

As a member of the rhythm section, the ebb and flow or dialogue between the bass and drums is crucial to me. It’s imperative to establish the pocket whilst dipping out and simultaneously only come back together. Makes for an exciting listen. For me, this song serves as a beautiful beacon of a chaotic groove. – Sabrina

Deerhoof – “Tiny Bubbles”

Growing up and listening to this song, I fell in love with the plethora of sections and transitions that change on a dime with such fluidity. The idea of pushing the envelope of traditional song structure runs rampant throughout this song. That is something I attempt to emulate within my own writing. – Sabrina

Reliant K2 – “I Was There”

I love this song and this entire album. I remember going to their album release and hearing this song, and I could not stop smiling because of how cool it was. The band as a whole is genius, but who I really admire is their drummer, Louis Kirk. His drumming is some of the most creative drumming I’ve seen and I would love to have a look inside his brain. Since I saw him play, I’ve tried to become as creative as possible writing stuff for MDC. – Kaylin

Slint – “Good Morning, Captain”

The aspect of this song that i enjoy the most is how patiently they build up the song. The song duration is about 7:39, but the climax happens around 6:40 with the lyrics, “I miss you.” The idea of creating a narrative through the progression of emotional intensity has always piqued my interest. Aside from that, I find the pocket between the rhythm section to be not only tight, but extremely entrancing. When the guitar comes in with its discordant harmonies, it adds tense hypnotism, but when it comes in with its arpeggios and more sustained notes, it serves to create room to bring the intensity down. As if it were opening a window to release tension in the air. These are constructs that I try to mimic when contributing to writing content for MDC. – Sabrina

Guerilla Toss – “Eraser Stargazer”

We remember hearing this song in high school and it completely changed everything we knew about music. This song made us feel safe and right in embracing our noisy and experimental side. It was very instrumental in helping us become who we are today. – Carol, Kaylin, & Sabrina

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